The time is coming to educate, connect, and inspire again. This year, everything is taking place online and with a focus on topics that have been highlighted by the pandemic. Expert discussions, real-world examples, and a ceremony presenting the Sustainable Development Goal Awards – that’s what the 17th edition of the Business Leaders Forum CSR Summit will be like. Free of charge for everyone with an interest in sustainability.
Every edition of our conference is different in some way. This time, it has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, every crisis is also an opportunity. That’s why we have decided to move the BLF CSR Summit online after 16 years, thus making information about CSR trends available to the wider public. “We shouldn’t forget that even as ordinary people we have a connection with corporate social responsibility – we can even directly influence it with our decisions as customers and employees,” explains Miroslava Gočálová, Program Manager at the Pontis Foundation – the organizer of the event.
Over the past year, several trends have emerged that are shaping the world of CSR on a global level. Just like previous years, even the 17th edition of the biggest CSR conference in Slovakia aims to open topics that are currently being discussed both in Slovakia and abroad.
People want brands and leaders with opinions
Should brands voice their opinions on important social topics? According to a global survey conducted by Accenture, as many as 63% of consumers all over the world prefer buying products and services from companies that reflect their values and opinions. According to the Kantar research agency, having a brand purpose has an impact on the value of the brand itself. At this year’s BLF CSR Summit, we are going to take a look at real-world examples of companies and explore how the concept of brand purpose has been influenced by the pandemic (Hall, Krajniak: Brand Purpose in the Post-Covid Era).
Just like brands, even CEOs themselves should become involved in public matters, communicate openly, and stand behind their values. These ideas have also been confirmed by the results by the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer global survey. Globally, as many as 92% of people consider it important for company leaders to speak up on topics like the pay gap, diversity, climate change, and immigration. How do we view this need in Slovakia? And do we think it has the potential to bring positive change in society? (Molnárová, Šicko, Baloghová, Kuhn + Porubský: Brand Purpose discussion)
Sustainable cities and a new green normal
Social responsibility isn’t just a topic for companies. What does it entail for cities and how can companies help them fulfill their mission? At the BLF CSR Summit, we are going to focus on real-world examples of effective cooperation between cities and businesses when tackling pressing issues (Vallo, Riečanská, Víšek, Sedláková: Urban Social Responsibility discussion).
This year’s conference introduces a new section called CSR Talks, which opens topics of individual responsibility. We will welcome three guests, who will be joining us for short discussions on whether or not the pandemic has increased the spread of misinformation, how to combat this phenomenon, and whether or not we need to change the way we travel. During the pandemic, people started using the term “new normal” more frequently, using it as a reference to a new era and new way of doing things. What should it look like? (Markoš, Kárníková, Šipoš Rosputinská: CSR Talks).
Even this year’s online version of the event will include our traditional round-table discussions (or rather chatrooms), focusing on topics like mental health in the workplace, digital security, and the circular economy in practice. The conference will also include a parallel session focusing on a pressing social topic (Pietruchová, Gerbery, Krajčová + Cifrová Ostrihoňová: Gender Equality (Not Only) at Work).
The SDG Awards will be presented by Jeffrey Sachs
For the second time now, the BLF CSR Summit will include a ceremony presenting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Awards. The awards will be presented to organizations, institutions, individuals, as well as companies.
“The goals, as defined by the UN in 2015, depend on the activity of and cooperation between various parties in society. Only by joining forces can we end poverty, combat inequality, and stop climate change,” explains Beata Fekiačová from the Pontis Foundation’s organizing team.
The SDG Awards ceremony will begin with an online talk by renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and Sustainable Development Goal Advocate for the UN.
Do not miss the biggest ONLINE CSR conference in Slovakia
on 13 October 2020.
Please note that the main language of the event is Slovak with exception of one presentation which will be carried out in English (9:15 – 9:45 Brand Purpose: The Higher Purpose of Business).
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